Renewable Energy Investment Falls 20 Percent as Wind Financings Decline

Investment in renewable energy fell 20 percent from a year ago in the third quarter as wind farm financings dropped and the pace of spending eased in the U.S. and India, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said.

The $56.6 billion injected into clean energy projects in the third quarter was down 5 percent from the second quarter and indicates that investment may fall for the first time in eight years when figures for the whole of 2012 are tallied, the London-based researcher said in a statement today.

The industry is suffering from excess capacity that’s driven down prices for solar panels and wind turbines, meaning developers pay less to install each megawatt of capacity. Governments are paring support for the industry across the U.S., India and Europe after a record $280 billion was invested in clean and low-carbon technologies in 2011.

“The location of some of the biggest projects financed in quarter three this year highlight the geographical shift that is taking place in clean energy, with established markets such as the U.S., Europe and China losing momentum while newer markets in South America, Asia and Africa pick up steam,” said Michael Liebreich, chief executive officer of New Energy Finance.

Spending in the U.S. was $7.3 billion, down 28 percent from the previous quarter and 62 percent on the same period last year. Investment in India also slid 16 percent from the second quarter and 60 percent from a year ago. Brazil showed a 94 percent increase to $1.9 billion from the three months ended in June and a 24 percent boost from the same quarter a year ago.

Investment in solar power reached $33.8 billion, more than double the $15.5 billion invested in wind in the third quarter.

Developers in Morocco were granted the go-ahead for a 160- megawatt solar thermal plant costing $1.2 billion and a 300- megawatt wind farm for $563 billion. In Brazil, they won consent for a 258-megawatt plan for wind projects costing $497 billion. The largest financing was from a group of 22 small hydroelectric projects totaling 980 megawatts in Ukraine, according to data collected by New Energy Finance.

Copyright 2012 Bloomberg

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